Engagement in the course of Programming in Higher Education through the use of Gamification

Publication TypeJournal Article
Año de publicación2019
AuthorsRojas-López, A, Rincón-Flores, EG, Mena, JJ, García-Peñalvo, FJ, Ramírez-Montoya, MS
JournalUniversal Access in the Information Society
Start Page583
Fecha de publicación07/2019
KeywordsChallenge, Engagement, gamification, motivation

Programming learning in college education is hard for students. Consequently, strategies are required to boost significant
learning as well as sustained motivation during the delivery of the course. For this reason, the following investigation
determines if the didactic strategy of gamification encourages engagement in a university level programming course. The
article presents two interventions that took place during the period of January to April 2017 and January to April 2018 in
a University of Mexico using the challenge-based gamification pedagogical strategy. This strategy supports the Werbach
and Hunter methodology. The dynamics were emotional, social, and progressive and were conducted through challenge and
opportunities mechanics. The components were points, badges, avatars, and a leaderboard. In both interventions, surveys
were used to know the acceptance of the strategy on behalf of the students, and a meta-evaluation instrument was applied
after the first intervention with the purpose of strengthening and improving the didactic strategy. The main conclusion of
this work indicates that gamification in the classroom contributed to improve the engagement with the students to succeed
in solving the challenges successfully; therefore, the pedagogical strategy under scrutiny can be applied to other subjects.